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Full text of "Arguments in favor of the support of Taylor and Fillmore"

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ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE SUPPORT 

OF 

TAYLOR AND FILLMORE. 



From the Richmond (Indiana) Palladium. 
The following letter, from Mr. Smith, to a friend, 
will be read with interest by his Whig constituents : 
1LETTER FROM HON. CALEB B. SMITH, 
OF INDIANA. 
Washington City, 2G7A of June, 1848. 
Dear Sir: Your favor of the 15th inst. reached 
me last evening. You say you have heard that I 
♦have declared in favor of the election of Gen. Tay- 
lor. In this you have heard no more than the truth. 
I was not, as you are well aware, one of those who 
desired the nomination of Gen. Taylor. Concurring 
fully in the views entertained by a large majority 
of the Whigs of my district, I preferred the nomi- 
nation of another. 

That question is no longer an open one. It has 
been closed by the action of the Whig National 
•Convention, which recently assembled at Philadel- 
phia. Gen. Z. Taylor is now the candidate of the 
Whig party for the Presidency, as Gen. Lewis Cass 
is the candidate of the Democratic party. The issue 
is narrowed down to a contest between these two 
individuals. One or the other of them will be the 
President of the United States for the ensuing four 
years should they survive. No separate organiza- 
tion, apart from the Whig party of the Union, 
can by any possibility secure the election of any 
third man. 

In this issue I shall support Gen. Taylor cordial- 
ly and zealously. The considerations which impel 
me to this course are numerous and cogent. In a 
brief manner I will present to you a few of them: 

For almost twenty years the administration of 
the General Government has been in the hands of a 
party which has acquired consequence and power 
by professing a democracy which it has never prac- 
tised. Step by step have the leaders of that party 
progressed in national demoralization. Since the 
incumbency of John Q.. Adams, the national ex- 
penditures have increased from thirteen millions to 
over thirty millions of dollars a year, aside from the 
•enormous expenses of the Mexican war. A nation- 
al debt has been rapidly accumulating, and which, 
before we get through the appropriations which the 
war has rendered indispensable, will exceed one 
hundred millions of dollars. This profligate expen- 
diture has brought with it no public benefit; on the 
contrary, it. has rather purchased the seeds of nation- 
al ruin. The mighty West, with all its vast inter- 
ests, has been neglected. The great interests of 
peace have been abandoned to an mcessant and cor- 
rupt struggle on the part of the leaders of the oppo- 
site party for power and place. A needless war has 
disturbed every element of society — it has left thirty 

thousand of our countrymen in foreign graves it 

has made the Locofoco party drunk with the love 
of foreign conquest and of battle — it has concerted 
the one-man power into a despotism, overpowering 
the legislative arm of the Government, and which 
threatens to alter and disfigure the entire theory of 
our constitution. 

«?. & G. S. .Gideon, printers. 



The history of the past is only relieved by the 
brief duration of Whig ascendency, which, despite 
tlie cruel and unexpected embarrassments which 
were thrown about it, accomplished the most im- 
portant results. Under that ascendency the diffi- 
culties between this country and Great Britain, 
growing out of the affair of the Caroline and the re- 
bellion in Canada, and that of the Northeastern 
boundary, were honorably and peacefully and for- 
ever adjusted; while the tariff of 1842 revived the 
business of the whole country, and gave to us an 
adequate revenue. 

We must meet the crisis before us. If the nomi- 
nee of the Baltimore Convention, Gen. Lewis Cass, 
shall be elected President of the United States, then 
the power of this Government will be confided to 
the hands of those by whom Texas was annexed, 
by whom the war with Mexico was unnecessarily 
and unconstitutionally begun, by whom slavery is 
sought to be extended, by whom a war with Eng- 
land on the Oregon question was greedily pressed 
tor the line of 54° 40'. The triumph will be award- 
ed to those, who, unsatisfied with the acquisition of 
New Mexico and California, are already stretching 
out their arms for Yucatan, and who loudly hint at 
the annexation of Cuba, as the next step of their 
" progress." This policy, it requires no prophet to 
foresee, will change the entire character of our for- 
eign relations. It will disturb every element of do- 
mestic prosperity and concord. It must dissolve 
the confederation of the States, in whose bond of 
union we have been so long and so happily linked 
together, and for whose perpetuity we should pray 
and incessantly labor. 

It is evident that our only security against this 
dreadful and impending peril lies in the success of 
the Whig party in November next. We cannot 
now indulge in other hopes. Had this party been 
successful in 1844, it must be now evident to every 
mind, the Texas annexation would never have oc- 
curred, the terrible war with Mexico would have 
been avoided, and the question of extending slavery, 
with all its agitating and frightful consequences* 
would not now be distracting our councils and 
threatening our peace. From the past let us correct 
errors and take counsel, and resolve on action for 
the future. 

The nomination of Gen. Taylor, has been made 
by a convention of our friends representing every 
portion of the Whig party, and in which we were 
fully represented. If we be true Whigs, true pa- 
triots, anxious to defer selfish and personal consi- 
derations to the high, enlarged, and noble aims of 
patriotism, our plain duty is to bow to the will of 
the majority of our friends, whatever may have 
been our cherished individual preferences — to unite 
every element of union and energy that can be ral- 
lied, to oppose the further progress of war, of slave 
area, and public debt— that we may develop the 
fruits of peace, of freedom, and public prosperity. 
Passing from these general reflections, allow me 
to refer you to a momentary consideration of the 



political attitudes of Lewis Cass and Zachary Tay- 
lor, for with the election of one or tlie other of 
these gentlemen we have to deal. 

Lewis Cass, has been many years in the public 
employ. As our representative abroad, at the 
Court of France, he signalized himself in the pub- 
lication of a fulsome eulogy on the despotic and 
profligate Court of Louis Philhppe. His public 
course at home may be recorded in a few sentences. 
When an assemblage, without party distinction, 
convened at Chicago, to arsert measures for the im- 
provement of the rivers and harbors of the West, 
General Cass, claiming to be a western man, shrunk 
from throwing the influence of his name in favor 
of our interests. When the veto of President Polk 
prevented the passage of a bill, looking to this im- 
portant end, Lewis Cass shrunk from encountering 
the veto of a southern President ; and he has now 
resigned his place in the Senate, and thus escaped 
the responsibility of action upon that measure, 
during the present session, as well as upon all 
others. 

The course of General Cass, with respect to our 
foreign relations, is a beacon of warning. Up to 
the last moment did he insist upon embroiling us in 
a war with England on the Oregon controversy. 
On the annexation of Texas, he has occupied ad- 
verse positions, having first denounced it and after- 
wards advocated it. He stands alike convicted of 
an advocacy of, and opposition to, the " WUmot 
proviso." He has played the demagogue instead 
of the statesman, and the only policy to which he 
is committed, is that which lias been adopted by 
Mr. Polk — the consequences of which have clothed 
the land in mourning, and its progress must inevi- 
tably root up every ancient land-mark. He stands 
forth the champion of increased territory from any 
and every quarter, no matter what amount of blood 
and treasure shall be wasted in its acquisition. He 
is the advocate of an interposition in the civil war 
in Yucatan, in contravention of our cherished policy 
of non-intervention, pleading humanity as the justi- 
fication for this proposed violation of the Constitu- 
tion, while doubtless his secret purpose is that of 
extended boundary. 

General Cass is a mere party politician, the head 
of the ultra-Polk wing of the Locofoco family, 
whose cry is : WAR AND LAND ! His public 
life has been matured among courts and politicians. 
Even an influential portion of his own party secede 
and revolt at his nomination. He is the candidate 
of our bitterest political opponents, and if he shall 
succeed, he will owe his success to the inactivity or 
discord of our own political friends. In that event, 
we must prepare to see the odious policy of Mr. 
Polk's administration fully matured and carried out, 
the "progressive" schemes of aggression and con- 
quest now secretly cherished, openly avowed and 
acted upon ; and our whole foreign policy subverted 
and changed. Patriotism demands, as an impera- 
tive duty, to omit no means by which such mon- 
strous evils may be averted. 

Zachary Taylor, deriving his blood from the re- 
volutionary stock, is emphatically a man of the 
people. His personal character isabove reproach, 
simple, hoin st, luml. si, republii an. As a man, all 
wIki know linn love ami honor him. He is a 
stranger to politicians, and refuses to consort with 
corrupt and ambitious art- to promote selfish cuds. 



To use his own noble words, he has "no enemies 
to punish, no friends to reward, nothing to serve 
but his country." Personally, no man enjoys a 
more universal popularity, or a more solid fame, 
based as it is upon the general confidence reposed 
in his elevated virtues and moral firmness. 

The public services of Zachary Taylor are com- 
prised in the devotion of nearly forty years to his- 
country. As a soldier, he has won a fame as im- 
mortal as any in history — the fame of a great and 
humane commander, and he has won it by sacri- 
ficing his private ease and safety to the hardships 
of the camp, and by his earnest endeavors to arrest 
the carnage of battle. The great Captain who 
fought his way through a quadruple opposing force 
on the Rio Grande, who captured in an open field,, 
and without the aid of siege trains or other suitable 
munitions, the rock-girt and fortified city of Mon- 
terey, and whose heroic resolution at Buena Vista 
saved from annihilation the little band of volunteers,, 
whose determination reflected back the fire which 
they received from his collectedness, is the same 
Zachary Taylor who spared the defenceless at 
Monterey, and who respected the white flag of" 
peace amid the roar of the conflict of Angostura. 
He is the same Zachary Taylor who, early in the 
Mexican war, and while the laurel of victory was 
within his reach, was the first to recommend a de- 
fensive line and the cessation of all further aggres- 
sive movements — glorying to forego the honors of 
war for the lovelier graces of peace. He is the same 
warm-hearted veteran who wept at the untimely 
fate of Col. Clay and his gallant confederates. 
These eminent services are the just' elements of" 
General Taylor's great persona! popularity, which 
the envious and cruel course of the Administration- 
towards him has only strengthened and deepened! 
and made resistless. 

The mind of Zachary Taylor is cast' in no com- 
mon mould. His firmness was the tower of strength, 
upon which our little army in Mexico reposed,, 
while the clearness and accuracy of his judgment 
have been vindicated in his every action. His des- 
patches to the War Department and other publica- 
tions, designed for the public eye, have no superiors 
of their class. They are all distinguished by disci- 
plined thought, masterly common sense, remarka- 
ble force and elegance of diction, and by a digni- 
fied submission to the civil power under the greatest 
personal provocations — while an extreme and win- 
ning modesty is the very soul of them all. 

As a politician, it is enough to say of Gen. Tay- 
lor, that he declares himself to be a Whig, that he 
asserts to the country that his vote in 1814 would 
have been cast for Henry Clay and against the an- 
nexation of Texas, and, as a consequence, against 
all the steps which have led to the needless conflict 
with Mexico. He has never placed himself in any- 
other altitude, as a candidate, than such a one as 
authorized his friends, who put him before the 
country, to withdraw him, should the choice of the 
Convention fall upon another. This position was 
fully asserted by the Louisiana delegation at tin. 
Philadelphia Convention. 

The pledges of Gen. Taylor should be satisfac- 
tory to Whigs. Taking Washington for his model,, 
he expressly repudiates the building up. of a mere 
presidential party of spoilsmen, while he distinctly 
avows his opposition to the extension of our terri- 



'torial limits; and we have his word that in the 
event of his election the Executive veto shall never 
be interposed to arrest the constitutional action of 
Congress, orto disturb the independence of the Ju- 
diciary. The same modesty of mind which distin- 
guished him in the field teaches him to regard the 
Executive office as ministerial and not legislative, 
which imposes on him who holds it, not the duty 
of making laws, but of faithfully carrying out the 
execution of the popular will constitutionally ex- 
pressed; and, in declaring himself to be such a 
Whig, we have the fullest guaranty of his views of 
'the powers of the Constitution which apply to the 
• questions of Slavery, of Internal Improvements by 
the General Government, a Revenue system, &c. 

The nomination of Gen. Taylor by a Convention 
of the Whigs of the Union, in which every portion 
of the country was represented, settles the question 
of his political character. The nomination was 
fairly made. The vote on every ballot was viva 
voce. Every Congressional district in every free 
State was represented, while there were ten districts 
in the slave-holding States which were not repre- 
sented, and therefore cast no votes. Thus the North 
was more fully represented than the South, yet the 
■choice fell on Gen. Taylor. As an evidence of his 
great strength in the Convention, it need only be 
<stated that on the first ballot Gen. Taylor received 
•votes from twenty-two out of thirty States, and on 
the fourth and last ballot from every State in the 
Union. The man whose whigism and popularity 
have been thus endorsed by the assembled represen- 
ted ves of our brother Whigs throughout the Union 
is- surely entitled to the ardent support of the party. 
As a Whig who believed the AVar with Mexico 
unnecessary and unconstitutional, and who has op- 
posed it from its commencement, I believe it entire- 
ly consistent with my principles to support General 
Taylor against Gen. Cass. The former, acting un- 
*der the orders of the President, his superior officer, 
has but done that in prosecuting the war, which he 
■could not refuse to do without a surrender of his 
commission in the army. The latter (Cass) acting 
*mder no such restraint, but as a member of the 
legislative department of the Government, has not 
■only justified and sustained the war, but has con- 
tinually and clamorously ur^ed its vigorous prose- 
cution into the heart of Mexico, without, regard to 
the torrents of blood which it caused to flow, or the 
(millions of money which it profligately wasted. 
Besides, it is well known that Gen. Taylor has op- 
posed the war from its commencement. It is also 
j. matter of history, that shortly after the commence- 
ment of the war he drew upon himself the severest 
•censure of the Administration, as well as the bitter- 
est denunciations of Locofocos throughout the coun- 
try, for expressing in a letter to a friend opinions 
.hostile to the prosecution of the war into the heart 
of Mexico. 

As a Northern Whig, desiring to prevent the 
■ extension of slavery into any territory which we 
now possess, or which we may hereafter acquire, I 
greatly prefer the election of Gen. Taylor to that of 
General Cass. This restriction, if made at all, must 
, be made by Congress. General Cass has pledged 



himself to the South, in order to secure their sup- 
port, to resist any attempt to restrict the extension 
of slavery. He denies the power of Congress un- 
der the Constitution to make any such restriction, 
and, consequently, if he should be elected, he would 
veto any bill which Congress might pass to effect 
this important object. 

Gen. Taylor has pledged himself to leave the de- 
cision of this question to the Legislative department 
of the Government, and he will not arrest the action 
of that department by the tyrannical exercise of the 
veto power. If, then, Gen. Cass shall be elected, 
while the policy of the Government will be such as 
to lead to large acquisitions of territory upon our 
Southern borders, no restriction upon the extension 
of slavery into such territory can be made by Con- 
gress, except by a two-thirds vote, overriding a 
Presidential veto". This cannot be hoped for. The 
election of Gen. Taylor, with the pledges which he 
has given to the country, will leave to Congress full 
power to prevent the extension of this evil. 

In fine, let me say, in conclusion, that the election 
of Gen. Cass will expose us to all the dangers and 
difficulties of further annexations and conquests, 
and subject, us to the most imminent hazard of a 
war with England or other European powers. The 
election of Gen. Taylor will arrest this mad career 
of conquest, and place our foreign relations upon a 
firm and secure and amicable basis. The election 
of Gen. Cass will secure the triumph of all those 
wild and reckless schemes of domestic policy which, 
under Locofoco rule, have already done so much 
to disturb the business of the country and retard its 
prosperity. The election of Gen. Taylor will intro- 
duce a safe American system of policy, calculated 
to promote the national welfare and happiness. 
The election of Gen. Cass will build up the one 
man power into a towering despotism, overpower- 
ing the action of Congress, and defeating the will 
and wishes of the people. The election of General 
Taylor will secure to the popular voice, as express- 
ed through its constitutional representatives, that 
just control over the administration of the Govern- 
ment, which, according to the true theory of our 
Constitution, it should' exercise. The election of 
Gen. Cass will secure the complete triumph of the 
most ultra views of Slavery propagandists, while 
Congress will be deprived of all power to check the 
evil. The election of Gen. Taylor will leave in the 
hinds of 'he Representatives of the people their just 
and constitutional power to exclude this evil from 
the territories which belong to the United States. 

In such a contest I cannot remain a mere passive 
spectator. The evils which must result from the 
election of Gen. Cass are, in my judgment, so »reat, 
so fatal in their consequences to the brightest hopes 
and the best interests of the nation, that patriotism, 
duty, and interest unite to invoke the ardent and 
zealous co-operation of all who would avert those 
evils to secure the election of Zachary Taylor, the 
only man whom we can hope to elect. 

I am, with great respect, your friend, 

CALEB B. SMITH. 
To S. B. Stanton. Esq., Richmond. Indiana. 



ns 






LETTER OF HON. MR. SCHEXCK, OF OHIO. 



From the Daily Dayton Journal. 
Mr. M'Bratney, of Greene County, addressed a 
letter to Mr. Schenck some days since, requesting 
to know what course he intended to pursue in the 
pending Presidential canvass, and the reply, a copy 
of which has been furnished us for publication, 
will be found in to-day's paper: 

LETTER FROM MR. SCFIENCK. 

Washington, July 14, 1848. 
Dear Sir : Your letter was duly received, and I 
take advantage of the first time I have, free from 
other engagements, to reply. I shall not, even now, 
be able to answer you as fully, and present my 
views on the subject of your communication, as I 
desire to do; but I will at least succinctly define to 
youmyposition. I will do this, too, in such a manner, 
as that my letter shall be a response lo interroga- 
tories, similar to yours, which have come to me, 
within a few days past, from other parts of our 
Congressional District ; and yon are at liberty to 
make any publication, or other use of it, that you 
may think proper for the information of my consti- 
tuents. 

You ask me what course I intend to pursue in 
relation to the nominations made by the Whig Con- 
vention at Philadelphia. I mean to support them. I 
will vote for the candidates, and do what I fairly 
can to promote their election. This I believe to be 
my duty as a Whig, and my duty as a citizen, 
anxious to contribute whatever of help I can to sus- 
tain and advance, under all circumstances, the best 
interests of my country, and those principles and 
measures upon the successful support of which, I 
believe, depend the perpetuity and prosperity of our 
free Government. 

I will make no remark upon the very excellent 
nomination of Vice President. There is not per- 
haps one Whig in Ohio that takes exception to 
Mr. Fillmore. 

Gen. Taylor, as a candidate for the Presidency, 
was no choice of mine; — nay more, 1 did all that 1 
fairly and honorably could to prevent his nomina- 
tion. But opposition was unavailing. He was se- 
lected by a Whig National Convention, called, con- 
stituted, and held in pursuance of the usages of the 
party; and 1 feel bound to acquiesce in that deci- 
sion. If we look at the composition of that body, 
we find that it was made up of delegates from every 
section of the country; — indeed, every Congression- 
al District in the Union, except ten, and they all in 
slave States, had its representative and its vote there; 
and a very decided majority of the whole number was 
from the Northern or free States. There was no un- 
fairness in that respect, therefore ; or if there was 
any advantage, and they had chosen to exercise it, 
it was with the free States. It is not, then, fur tin 
North, or free States, to complain of a result which 
they could themselves, it' they had really and sin- 
cerely desired to avoid it, have controlled and made 
different from what it was 

But if we regard the obligations of party organi- 



zation and personal honor in politics at all, there fs* 
another thing which we of the free States must. 
consider. The call for this convention was made 
in the usual way, by a Congressional caucus. Ir.i 
that caucus, the only objection made to holding a 
convention, was urged by members hero from the 
South. Many of them were disinclined to agree 
to that mode of selecting candidates. But their op- 
position was overruled, and they were voted down 
by the Whig members of Congress from the free 
States, all of whom, without, I believe, a single ex- 
ception, insisted upon a convention. This was in 
accordance with the wishes of the Whigs every 
where at the North, as expressed through the 
newspapers, in correspondence, and through other 
public and private channels of communication. For 
myself, it. so happened that I was provented by 
sickness from attending any of the caucus meetings 
at which the question was discussed and determin- 
ed ; but I was in favor of holding a convention, 
used whatever little influence I had opportunity of 
exerting to that end, would have votei for the call 
had I been present, and mean now, in good faith, 
to adhere to that decision, to which I feel that I 
thus pledged myself in advance. I wili'add, that I' 
do not believe there is one single Whig in my Con- 
gressional District who then expected,. or desired 
me, so far as I might be considered as representing 
his wishes or views, to take a different course. But. 
it is for everyone for himself to jud^e, and say, 
whether he feels thus bound as I do. The determi- 
nation to call a National Convention was at thei 
time considered a triumph of the free States — "a tri- 
umph," as I remember writing home to some of my 
constituent, "of Northern obstinacy over South- 
cm chivalry !" It was not supposed then that Gen. 
Taylor could probably receive the nomination of 
such a convention ; and this accounts, perhaps, to 
some extent, for the opposition to the call. It was 
doubted then, also, and for sometime afterwards, 
whether his claims would be submitted to the con- 
vention, or whether he, or that portion of the 
Whigs who presented his name, would a^ree to be 
bound by its decision. All that doubt, and all spec- 
ulation upon that point, were resolved by the au- 
thorized declaration made for him at Philadelphia,. 
by the delegation from his own State ; and he wa 
made the candidate upon the terms which we of 
the North and West had ourselves proposed. 
Should we not, then, in all reason and honor, assist- 
to fleet him whom we thus virtually helped to nomi- 

Hdti 1 

Thus much upon the question, so far as party 
organization and its obligations are to be regarded. 
But. there are other and irraver reasons involved ; 
and which have influence d me still more in coming 
to the determination which 1 have avowed. If feal- 
ty to party requires my support of Gen. Taylor, 
sill! more do I feel the duty which I think is im- 
posed by allegiance to the country and the Consti- 
tution — that duty which requires of me to exercise, 
wisely as I can, the right of suffrage in such waj 



as to prevent the greatest evil, if not to secure the 
greatest good. 

Surveying the whole ground, I have not a doubt 
but that either Gen. Taylor or Gen. Cass will be 
elected the next President. My vote, if it is to be 
effective at all, must be a choice between them. Be- 
lieving this, with me it is decisive of the question. 
You, and I, and all of us in Ohio, have been accus- 
tomed to deprecate the ineffective and mischievous 
course pursued by third party men. We have ar- 
gued with, and implored, on former occasions, the 
seceders from the Whig party — separatists on 
some point of conscientious difference — not to act 
in such way as to make worse than waste of their 
moral and political force. We have believed and 
charged that in this way the anti-slavery party in 
the United States had made themselves responsible 
at the last Presidential election for the defeat of 
Henry Clay — the annexation of Texas — the war, 
and the extension of slave territory — thus promot- 
ing, by their independent action, the very evils 
which were most abhorrent to them. Will not our 
own arguments, views, and illustrations return 
upon us now with accumulated force, if we either 
stand aloof, sulkily nursing our disappointment, or 
squander our strength upon the unavailing attempt 
to accomplish what is utterly impossible? And if, 
on account of such procedure on the part of Whigs, 
General Cass should be elected, who will be, who 
should be, answerable for bringing that great evil 
upon the country? 

For it would be an evil, disastrous I verily be- 
lieve, beyond all former experience of misrule. 
General Cuss has not only put himself distinctly 
upon all the issues of the Baltimore convention, but 
he has in terms declared that he should consider his 
election as an endorsement of the whole course and 
policy of Mr. Polk, and as direction to himself to 
pursue and carry out schemes of similar character. 
What is this but to declare for a policy of war— 
for debt — for conquest — for extension of slave ter- 
ritory — for opposition to home labor and industry, 
and the consequent crippling of national indepen- 
dence — for hostility to internal improvements — and, 
in short, for every form of gross outrage, and ex- 
ecutive usurpation, which has characterized with 
such "bad pre-eminence" the present Administra- 
tion? And every one who knows Gen. Cass, and 
lias marked his course in the Senate, must know 
that, in the event of his election, these sad conse- 
quences would have to be our only expectations. 

With General Taylor only can we in any human 
probability now succeed, so as to arrest these ca- 
lamities, which a continued Democratic rule would 
bring upon us. And what may we reasonably ex- 
pect through him? 

I frankly admit that since his nomination, and 
since I have set myself coolly and calmly to con- 
sider, under the best lights afforded to us, his char- 
acter and position, my estimation of him has great- 
ly increased. I believe that he is a strong-minded, 
single-hearted, true man — as honest as he is brave; 
and that under him we should have a safe, pure, 
and sound Whig administration of the Government. 
He is a soldier, but regards "war," he says, "at 
all times, and under all circumstances, as a national 
calamity," and he distinctly protests his opposi- 
tion to the policy which would subjugate other na- 
tions, and dismember other countries by conquest. 

But what, above all, pleases and satisfies me, is 
the fair and manly declaration he has made of his 
determination, if elected, to leave to the Represen- 



tatives of the people to provide for the wants and 
carry out the wishes of the majority, uncontrolled by 
executive dictation, or arrested by the capr.ciousap- 
plication of the veto. I have, in my short experi- 
ence here, seen so much of the exercise of this 
overshadowing power of the Executive, that I have 
come to regard it as the worst and most danger- 
ous feature of the times; and I hail, therefore, with 
peculiar and proportional delight, the promise and 
prospect oi'free legislation once more! 

And it is not only "upon the subject of the tariff, 
the currency, the improvement of our great high- 
ways, rivers, lakes and harbors," that Gen. Taylor 
declares "the will of the people, as expressed thro' 
their representatives in Congress, ought to be re- 
spected and carried out by the Executive;" but he 
makes an avowal of opinion to me far more signifi- 
cant and pregnant with assurance of the liberal 
couise he would feel it his duty to take, upon ano- 
ther question of deepest and most vital and universal 
interest. He will not interfere to influence or pre- 
vent, but will leave also to Congress, where of right 
it should be left, to arrest the extension of slavery, 
and prohibit it from being introduced into the new 
territories. Can I be mistaken in this? He says, 
"the personal opinions of the individual who may 
happen to occupy the Executive chair, oujrhtnotto 
control the action of Congress upon questions of do- 
mestic policy; nor ought his objections to be inter- 
posed, where questions of constitutional power have 
been settled by the various departments of Government, 
and acquiesced in by the people.'''' ] call particular at- 
tention to this language. Has there ever, in the 
whole history of our Government, been a question 
of constitutional power, settled by such frequent 
and unvarying precedents in all the departments, 
legislative, executive and judicial, as the exercise of 
a right by Congress to control and regulate and 
prohibit slavery in the territories? Has there ever 
been a power more strongly confirmed by the con- 
stant acquiescence of the whole people? From the 
glorious ordinance of 1787, re-enacted by the \ery 
first Congress that met under the Constitution, 
down to the present time, there has been no excep- 
tion in this history. Does not this, then, commit 
Gen. Taylor to leave this subject to the people's 
representatives? Did he not have it particularly in 
his mind, when he wrote that declaration? I have 
good reason for believing that he did. Then choose 
between the Southern man on the one hand, slave- 
holder though he be, who will leave it to the legis- 
lative power to prohibit the extension of this evil, 
with all its train of bitter consequences, and its un- 
equal representation, and will uphold the will of the 
people thus expressed, and Gen. Cass, on the other 
hand, "the northern man with southern principles," 
who abandons his former known opinions, prosti- 
tuting himself in the hope of purchasing power 
by the sacrifice, and who has already announced 
in advance, his denial of this right in their repre- 
sentatives, a right so dear to every northern heart. 
For one, I cannot hesitate. 

But I am extending this letter beyond my inten- 
tion when I began to write, and will add no more. 
Believe me, that I have not come to the determina- 
tion which I have expressed to you without much 
thought rnd reflection — indeed I may say, not with- 
out painful anxiety to be right in the judgment of 
my duty. But having so decided, I shall firmlv 
pursue the course 1 have chosen — giving to the nom- 
ination an earnest and hearty support. I can ap- 
preciate the reasons, and sympathize with the feel- 



ings of yourself and others of our Whig friends, 
who may feel constrained to come to a different 
conclusion. But, if we must continue to differ, let 
it be without harshness, and in a spirit of mutual 
conciliation and forbearance— remembering that 
our difference is not about principles, but only as to 
the best use of men and means by which those prin- 
ciples are at th'13 time to be advanced. We have a 
work before us, in which we can all cordially 



unite — the preserving of our own State from the 
chances of anarchy and Locofoco misrule. Let ua 
all pull heartily together to that end; and while we 
do so, we may discover by the way, that we can 
also consistently agree as to our action in relation to 
what lies beyond. Respectfully and truly, your 
friend, 

ROBERT C. SCHENCK. 



APPENDIX. 



MR. FOOT'S SPEECH. 
The question of extending slavery into the terri- 
tories lately acquired by the treaty with Mexico, is 
one of great interest, and is now eliciting a large 
share of public attention. It is important that the 
position of the candidates for the Presidency upon 
this question should be understood. Gen. Taylor 
upon this, as well as upon all other questions, takes 
broad, liberal, and national grounds. He will not 
exercise the veto power to aid sectional views, or 
prevent the will of the. country from being carried 
out. He has made pledges to no party and to no 
section with a view to secure votes, and if elected, 
will discharge his constitutional duties upon en- 
larged and patriotic principles, with a view to the 
interest and welfare of the whole country. Gen. 
Cass, the candidate of the Democratic party, occu- 
pies a different position. To secure Southern sup- 
port, he has pledged himself to veto any bill which 
Congress may pass to prevent the extension of 
slavery. His friends in the South are now urging 
his election upon this ground. In a debate which 
lately occurred in the United Suites Senate on this 
subject, Mr. Foote, one of the Senators from Mis- 
sissippi, advocated General Cass in a speech of 
ureat length, from which the following is taken : 

"The newspapers of the Whig party, in thatsec- 
tion of the Union where this system of slavery is 
not toll rated by law, and where the fiercest opposi- 
tion is exhibited to its further diffusion, without a 
single exception, so far as I have been able to ascer- 
tain, have presented him to their respective readers 
as a Wilmot-prOviso man, anil, as such, prepared, 
if derated to the Executive chair of the nation, to 
withhold his veto from this noxious measure — thus 



permitting it to become one of the permanent laws 
of the Republic. I dislike exceedingly to run into 
detail upon this head; but holding it to be quite im- 
portant that the South should understand in time 
the precise extent of the danger to which she stands 
exposed on this vital point, I shall take the liberty 
of laying before the Senate, and the country, a few 
extracts from leading Whig journals of extensive 
circulation in the free States of the Union, from 
which the general course of the editors sustaining 
General Taylor's pretensions in that section of the 
confederacy may be easily inferred. 

"And, first, I will read an extract from the 'Daily 
Democrat,' published at Rochester, New York, 
which is as follows : 

" 'And here is the precise difference between Cass 
and General Taylor. It is possible that General 
Taylor entertains doubts of the expediency of pro- 
hibiting slavery in the Territories, and that he would 
not originate or recommend such a measure. 

''• 'It may even be that he shares in the scruples of 
General Cass, as to the grant of power to Congress 
to legislate for them upon this subject. But Gen. 
Taylor tells us that the personal opinions of the 
Executive might not to control the action of Con- 
gress; nor ought his objections to be interposed when 
questions of constitutional power have been settled by 
the various departments of Government, and acqui- 
esced in by the people. 

" 'Now, we are entirely willing to rest the power 
of Congress to restrain the extension of slavery 
upon its"' having been settled by all the departments 
of Government, and acquiesced in by the people. 
We can show that it has been exercised in respect 
to six Territories by a perpetual interdiction of sla- 
very, and in four others the legislative power of 
Congress over slavery has been asserted in the way 
of limitation and regulation; that every President 
has, in some way, recognised the existence of this 
power; that it has been solemnly declared by the 
courts of the United States, and of nearly, if not 
quite, all those of every slave State. Gen. Taylor, 
therefore, is bound and pledged not to interpose ob- 



jections, if he entertains any, to arrest or defeat the 
action of Congress.' " 

"Next, a short extract from the 'Boston Atlas' 
claims attention. It reads thus : 

" 'We are not unaware that there are some among 
us who are reluctant to yield to General Taylor 
their support, even though the nominee of the Phil- 
adelphia Convention. We feel assured that they 
can be but few. 

" 'Let them, if they really mean to be right, and 
to act for the best, and with clear consciences, con- 
sider whether they really have any good grounds 
for their hesitation to support General Taylor; and, 
above all, let them take into view the fearful respon- 
sibility they will takf upon themselves, if, by their 
opposition, they bring upon the country all the aw- 
ful consequences involved in the election of Lewis 
Cass. Let them ponder these things well. Let 
them learn — as they will learn, if they will not be 
deaf and blind to the truth — that General Taylor is 
a Whig in principle — is in favor of peace — opposed 
to all war — believes slavery to be a curse to the 
country, and desires its extermination — and is op- 
posed to the further extension of slave territory.'" 

"Next, I will invite notice to an extract from the 
* Toledo Blade,' published in Ohio : 

" General Taylor declares expressly in his first 
letter, written two years since, to James M. Tay- 
lor, esq., then editor of the 'Cincinnati Signal,' that 
he considers the ordinance of 1787 the best code of 
laws for the government of a new territory in ex- 
istence. Now, what is the prominent feature of 
this ordinance? Is it not, clearly, that no slavery 
shall exist in the territory for which it was framed? 
Here is the doctrine of the Wilmot Proviso fully 
endorsed. If the language of Gen. Taylor means 
any thing, it means every thing ; and, although he 
may, from his peculiar location and occupation, as 
an extensive planter, find it necessary to hold slaves 
himself, it does not follow that he should approve 
of the extension of the evil of slavery into territory 
now free, any more than that Lewis Cass, who has 
spent his life in a free State — whose sympathies 
and associations have all been with free laborers — 
should not approve of it. General Cass, we be- 
lieve, is not suspected of entertaining any other 
than the most radical views in favor of an exten- 
sion of slavery. If he does, the platform erected 
for him by his party, and his own letter of accept- 
ance and endorsement, greatly belie him. 

'" Again, his views upon the qualified use of the 
veto, restricting it to matters that are clearly uncon- 
stitutional, and never to be employed against a de- 
cisive Congressional vote, are stronger safeguards 
against the extension of slavery than any personal 
pledges of opposition. This is power and authori- 
ty ; it is the opinion of a wise head and good heart, 
upon a subject which, of itself, is the very foun- 
tain of all law. Would General Taylor veto the 
Wilmot Proviso? Would he dare to say to the 
assembled Congress of the United States, it is un- 
constitutional to pass such a law? especially after 
his endorsement of it in his first letter, after declar- 
ing his opposition to the war, and after expressing 
a determination to avoid the use of the veto, except 
in the most extreme cases ? We do not believe it ! 

" 'How is it with the Locofocos? Their platform 
tells a different story. They oppose the Wilmot 
Proviso, favor the use of the veto, approve of the 
war and its results. Now, with such doctrines, 



what else can be expected than that, if Cass should 
be elected to the Presidency, every wish of the 
most violent pro-slavery men would be immediately 
gratified ? We could expect nothing else, for these 
are the principles of their doctrinal, nominating 
convention.'' 

"Next, an article from the Cincinnati Gazette will 
be found worthy of consideration : 

" 'The nomination of Gen. Taylor by the Whig 
National Convention is responsive to the authorita- 
tive voice of the popular will of the Whigs of the 
Union, legitimately expressed in the mode and man- 
ner which they themselves provided.' " 

" In April 1847, the editor of the Cireinnati Sig- 
nal sent to General Taylor an editorial article in 
which was the following : 

" ' The only path of safety for those who may 
hereafter fill the Presidential office, is to rest in the 
discharge of Executive functions, and let the legis- 
lative will of the people find utterance and enact- 
ments. The American people are about to assume 
the responsibility of framing the institutions of the 
Pacific States. We have no fears for the issue, if 
the arena of the high debate is the assemblies of 
the people and their representative halls. The ex- 
tension over the continent beyond the Rio Grande oftlie 
ordinance of 1787, is an object too high and permanent 
to be baffled by Presidential vetoes.' 1 " 

" To the article from which the above extract is 
made, General Taylor responded, in a letter of date 
May 18, 1847, acknowledging his ' high opinion and 
decided approval of the views and sentiments.' 

" Here, it will be noticed, that General Taylor 
decidedly approves of giving to the will and acts of 
Congress • force and effect,' unrestricted by kingly 
vetoes, and that no Executive veto should prevent the 
extension of the ordinance o/1787 over neivly acquired 
Mexican /erriiori/." 
"The following extract from the Pittsburg Journal, 
one of the strongest Wilmot Proviso papers in the 
country, will be found to the same effect : 

" 'The position of Gen. Taylor in regard to this 
all-important question is perfectly satisfactory to 
the Whigs of the North. What we desire in a 
President is, that he shall not interpose to defeat 
the will of the people as expressed through Con- 
gress. In the language of Mr. Forward, the Whigs 
want nothing that they cannot obtain through the 
action of Congress. 

'"Gen. Taylor's position is one which will make 
him the executor, not the dictator, of the public will. 

" 'If the Wilmot Proviso is adopted by Congress, 
Gen. Taylor, as President, will not veto it. 

" 'We regard Gen. Taylor as opposed to tile ex- 
tension of slavery, although a Southern man. 

" 'The extract from Mr. Ashmun's address, 
which we publish above, is the ground upon which 
we go into the support of Gen. Taylor. This 
ground is sure, firm, and safe.' " 

" Let me now call attention to the address which 
has just been issued by the State Central Whig 
Committee of Ohio to the voters of that State. The 
whole address is too long to have read ; but the 
succeeding extract will plainly show what are the 
views of the Whigs of Ohio in regard to General 
Taylor's principles, and especially as to his views 
on the Wilmot Proviso : 

" 'It would doubtless have been more consonant 
to the Whigs of Ohio, had a candidate been select- 
ed whose residence and associations would have 



8 



naturally inclined him to agree with us fully on this 
subject. His residence and associations, however, 
have not blinded General Taylor to the evils of the 
institution of slavery, and the moral depravity of 
its extension. On the subject of slavery extension, 
the views of General Taylor are freely expressed 
in his approval of the sentiments contained in the 
following extract of an editorial article published in 
the 'Cincinnati Signal' of April, 1847, and sent by 
the editor to Gen. Taylor : 

"'The only path of safety for those who may 
hereafter rill the Presidential office, is to rest in the 
discharge of Executive functions, and let the legis- 
lative will of the people find utterance and enact- 
ment. The American people are about to assume 
the responsibility of framing the institutions of the 
Pacific States. We have no fears for the issue, if 
the arena of the high debate is the assemblies of 
the people and their representative halls. The ex- 
tension over the continent beyond the Rio Grande of the 
ordinance of 1787, is an object too high and permanent 
to be baffled by Presidential vetoes.'' 

" 'To the article from which the above extract is 
made, General Taylor responded, in a letter of date 
May 18, 1847, acknowledging his ' high opinion 
and decided approval of the views and sentiments.' 

"'Here it will be noticed that General Tay lor de- 
cidedly approves of giving to the will and acts of 
Congress 'force and effect,' unrestricted by kingly 
vetoes, and that no Executive veto should prevent the 
extension of the ordinance of 1787 over nervly acquired 
Mexican territory.'' " 

" In addition to these testimonials, I beg leave to 
suggest to gentlemen not already apprized of the 
fact, that a certain manifesto has recently been ad- 
dressed to the Whigs of Massachusetts, by one of 
her leading representatives ir. Congress, and who 
was also a member of the Philadelphia Convention, 
which, if not expressly contradicted by General 
Taylor during the Presidential canvass, will bind 
him, as an honorable man, to throw no obstacles, 
as President of the United States, in the way of 
the Wilmot Proviso. I allude to the circular ot 
Air. Ashmun to his constituents, which has evi- 
dently constituted the basis upon which the Whigs 
of Massachusetts have rallied to the support of 
General Taylor. That document reads as follows : 

" 'General Taylor (says he) saw not my prefer- 



ence ; but I believe him to be a true Whig, an hon- 
est and capable man, opposed to the acquisition of 
Texas, with sound and conservative principles, op- 
posed to further enlarging the boundaries of our 
Union ; and, although he lives in the latitude where 
slavery is tolerated, yet I do not believe that he de- 
sires or approves its extension. His declared sen- 
timents are a guaranty that he will never, in the 
slightest manner, interfere with the action of Con- 
gress when it shall forbid the existence of slavery 
in our newly acquired territories. Let the repre- 
sentatives of the people and of the States be left free 
to act upon that question, uncontrolled by Execu- 
tive influence and Executive veto, and we are safe. 
I need not, I am confident, give to you any assur- 
ance that whenever the question, in any form, shall 
be presented during my official term, the rights 
of humanity shall find in me an unyielding advo- 
cate. The issue will soon come ; it is to be met in 
the halls of Congress ; and then it is to be decided, 
in all probability during the continuance of Mr. 
Polk's administration. Let the people of ihe free 
States look to their representatives !' " 

'•Such is the condition of things in New England, 
and the free States generally, in regard to General 
Taylor's attitude upon the Wilmot Proviso. I do 
not charge him in direct terms with being at heart 
favorable to the Wilmot Proviso ; but 1 do insist, 
and with the utmost confidence, too, that if elected 
without further explanation, his supporters among 
the " conscience Whigs," as they are called, 
would have great right to complain of any attempt 
on his part, as President, to defeat their favorite 
measure by the interposition of the Executive ve- 
to. And now, sir, I again appeal to the friends of 
General Taylor in this body for some assurance as 
to the conduct of their Presidential candidate on 
this subject, should he chance to be elected, as they 
seem now so confidently to anticipate. Our candi- 
date has come out plainly and snequivocally, and 
magnanimously risked his election upon the sound- 
ness of his views. Should he be chosen President 
no fastidious delicacy would restrain him in the ex- 
ercise of the veto power upon all measures deemed 
by him unconstitutional, and he has declared his 
opinion that the Wilmot Proviso is unconstitution- 
al, in phraseology too explicit to be misunderstood 
' by the dullest intellect in the Republic." 



W46 



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